6 Things Every College Girl Should Know About STDs

We all remember Coach Carr telling his class in Mean Girls, “don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die!” Many of us had sexual education teachers like that in high school who scared us about having sex. While sex should be an open conversation and not posed as something scary, it can have serious consequences, especially when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Here are six things every college girl should know about STDs.

1.) Even curable STD’s can have serious consequences if they are not taken care of  

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are two common STDs among college students and both are treatable with antibiotics. However, if they are not taken care of, they can result in serious damage to the reproductive system, including infertility, according to Planned Parenthood.

2.) Having symptoms does not necessarily mean you have an STD

Common symptoms include unusual discharge, lower stomach pain, pain urinating, bumps on the vagina, or pain having sex. However, don’t freak out if you have any of these symptoms because they can also be the result of less serious infections, such as a bladder infection or a yeast infection.

3.) Some STDs have no symptoms

If you have unprotected sex, it is best to get checked for STDs, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms. Many STD’s show no symptoms at all.

4.) STDs can take weeks to come out

It is important to note that many STDs will not show up as positive in testing right away. That is why it’s best to wait two to four weeks before getting tested. This also means that if you’re partner says that he/she has been tested and that the results were negative, they could actually still have something if they got tested too soon.

5.) Condoms effectively protect against STDs, but their protection is not 100% guaranteed

To protect yourself, use condoms when having sex with a partner that you are not in a monogamous relationship with. Although asking a partner to use a condom can feel like a mood kill, when it come to your health, awkward moments are worth it. However, it is still good to get tested for STDs even if you always use condoms because it is still possible (although less likely) to contract something.

6.) STD’s are common and you don’t need to feel ashamed if you have one

According to the American Sexual Health Association, 50% of sexually active people will get an STD before they turn 25. If you get an STD, your love life is not over. However, you do have to be extra careful when engaging in sexual activity so you don’t spread the disease to others.

Worried that you have an STD? Ashe has a women’s health center located on the first floor. Even if you do not have SHIP insurance, you can still be seen and tested.

*photos from unsplash.com